Christopher L. Cruden
e-Forex talks with Christopher Cruden.
Christopher, its been 4 years since you
last contributed an article in e-Forex, when you were Managing
Director of Tamiso & Co LLC, a New York based Currency Manager.
Youve recently decided to devote all of your energy to the
development of your own company, Insch Capital Management AG, based
in Switzerland. Whats taken you in this direction?
Having specialized in currency management within the Alternative
Investment Industry for 20 years, I rather think I may have learned
a thing or two. Crucially, Im still motivated to learn and package
the product of my (occasionally) expensive education for the
benefit of clients. Bob Tamiso was, and is, a role model for me. In
terms of trading, he used to say sometimes a diamond, sometimes a
stone and that trading was how he defined himself. Thats true for
me. Sometimes its hard and sometimes its rewarding. Either way, I
cant think of anything Id rather be doing. Basically, I like the
business. I like the people and I like the challenge.
In your 2002 article for us you made some
very interesting observations about who provides the best FX
execution, commenting that:
Brokers are better than banks for third party allocations
Banks are always best for prop desk trading accounts
Banks are always worst for trading allocations from their own
in-house allocators. Has the rapid development of the e-trading
environment over the last few years changed your opinions in any
I am even more right today in that it is even more difficult for a
bank or broker to pretend that they have special access or a better
price than their competitors. This is because the provision of
price has become a commodity in abundant supply via platforms and
the internet. So, what has happened is that they have been forced
to slash spreads and hope to make it up on volume. To an extent,
their business model continues to work because volumes continue to
increase. These days, most managers and investors can easily gain
direct access to markets, news services and a whole raft of
analysis for themselves. They dont need to pay pips to a guy to
tell them funds are buying / selling and guessing what the next
number is going to be.
Lets talk about Insch Capital. The firm
is a crossover between a private investment bank and a professional
services firm. Can you elaborate on what that means and what
benefits it provides to clients?
We find that the domicile is attractive to clients. People like
doing business in Switzerland with Swiss institutions. On the other
hand, while the Swiss system has its obvious advantages, the
perception exists that it can be expensive for certain services. We
offer a competitive advantage by being in Switzerland, but not
Swiss. In addition to acting as a discretionary asset manager (in
the same way that any US or UK domiciled HFM or CTA does), Insch
can also form and administer Swiss based structures and companies.
- Effectively acting as a trust services company. To assist in
this, we have established excellent relationships with local legal,
tax and accountancy firms.
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